19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ” (Some manuscripts include: “But this kind of demon won’t leave except by prayer and fasting.” (see Mark 9:29)
I have been putting this post off because it is a tough one for me to practice. Fasting is not a popular thing. And some manuscripts don’t include this in this passage so there is a debate as to whether fasting is part of this or not.
Jesus said that the disciples didn’t have enough faith. But if they did have faith, nothing would be impossible. So how do we live with type of faith. No one can put a formula to faith. There are some connections that need to be made though:
Faith is fueled by prayer and God’s Word.
Prayer combined with fasting is powerful.
When we give up, we grow up. When we give something that we need such as food, our faith grows. If something isn’t growing, it’s dying. We must constantly be “feeding” faith through prayer, the Word of God and fasting. Faith needs prayer; prayer needs fasting.
Andrew Murray writes this, “Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the invisible; fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible. In nothing is man more closely connected with the world of sense than in his need for food, with which man was tempted and fell in Paradise.” (With Christ in the School of Prayer: p. 74)